Unknown Mozart Sheet Music Discovered

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Melrose, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

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    #1
    A library in Nantes, France found a single sheet of music handwritten by Mozart, presumably between 1787 and 1791 (his death). While it is possible to know where Mozart was going with the piece, it is missing both harmony and instrumentation and so no one will ever know how he would have orchestrated it and put it together.

    Just thought I'd post this. I'm sure there's a lot here that like Mozart and can appreciate what this means..

    CNN article
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #2
    Ah, I'm glad it'll be open to interpretation. It'll give Kanye more creative freedom to experiment with the beat, and.....
     
  3. spreadTHEwealth macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Is this like TuPac where he made a bunch of songs but didn't have time to produce them?
     
  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #4
    Thanks for posting that melrose; I had come across it on the BBC but hadn't thought to post it. I love Mozart, so it is always a pleasure to read something new. It's not the first piece of his (unknown) musical compositions to turn up in the past decade; what is really interesting is how fully the melody was worked out, even in this single sheet, despite lacking notes which would have filled out both harmony and instrumentation.

    Two previously unknown portraits have also surfaced in the past decade, one of which was painted not too long before his death and which depicts a somewhat world-weary and slightly dissipated mature man, a bit of a change from the cherubic countenance some of us were probably more familiar with.
    Cheers
     
  5. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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  6. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #6
    The Guardian article offers a few more details, including:
    But I think there are (perhaps) a total of one hundred or so unfinished works/sketches by Mozart in existence...(?)
     
  7. kwood macrumors 6502a

    kwood

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    #7
    I always thinks it's cool when they find unfinished unpublished music from great (and even not so great) composers. I remember my high school music teacher telling us they used to find parts of scores used as book bindings in old books.

    I forget which composer it was, but he would write a melody and give it to his kids to write out the counter point. The kids would do it, then sell the paper to a book maker who would cut it up and use it to bind books.

    This could be a myth, but it does make for a good story.
     
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #8
    It might - just might - have been J S Bach. Johann Sebastien Bach did write counterpoint, indeed, he wrote a vast corpus of musical work, had a large family, and most certainly did teach them counterpoint, for at least two of his sons (Johann Christian Bach and Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach) became quite well known composers in their own right. Of course, it might just have been a beautiful apocryphal tale.
    Cheers
     
  9. Kashchei macrumors 65816

    Kashchei

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    #9
    I went to the Guardian article link kindly provided by localoid and was almost able to get the manuscript legible using Photoshop. If anyone has better success than I did, send me the file and I'll post a performance of the work. This is a win-win situation for anyone interested in Mozart.
     
  10. bov macrumors 6502

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    #10
    amazing! i wish i could see the picture more clearly tho :(
     
  11. Aea macrumors 6502a

    Aea

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    #11
    Wow, I'm sure they'll be able to make a tidy fortune simply on creating limited performances to hear what Mozart had thus far.

    Can't wait to hear this, or the interpretations though.
     
  12. kwood macrumors 6502a

    kwood

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    #12
    I found some pictures that were closer and some of the notes are legible.

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hEfe4EIBfxDZkGek3ucycmeXl-EwD939BEF80

    And Here:

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: I found a bigger picture and enlarged it a bit, but it is too big to post.

    EDIT2: I put the picture into a folder then compressed it. It is here for anyone who wants it.

    EDIT3: At Kashchei, I am interested in hearing what it actually sounds like. I used to be a tuba player and can sing and tap out what is written, however I don't have an instrument to actually play it. It's unfortunate tubas are so expensive.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #13
    My father just bought a Norwegian Star in February. MSRP is $12k+.
     
  14. Melrose thread starter Suspended

    Melrose

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    #14
    Yeah, I wonder how it'll sound if they ever are able to actually get it orchestrated and arranged. I mean, if you know music you can tell what it was supposed to sound like (in a very general sense at least) but it would be cool for us non-note-readers to hear it eventually.

    Just when you think everything's been discovered!
     
  15. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #15
    On the topic of "actual sounding like", a few years ago I read of a splendid young chamber orchestra which managed to lay their hands on period instruments and played the music of a number of classical composers (Mozart included) on instruments as they were at that time. Apparently, the sound was quite different, to what we would hear with the improvements in technique in the manufacture of instruments, and it was a fascinating experience for those involved. Baroque and earlier music sounds very different if played on the instruments of the time, but that has been well known and played. However, it was something of a surprise to find that the music of the 18th century - so near in some ways, and so hugely influential on all modern music - could still sound so different.
    Cheers
     
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #16
    Yes, except Tupac's not dead. :D
     
  17. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #17
    The use of authentic "period instruments" is just one part of the historically informed performance (HIP) concept. There's also the "performance practice" factor, which (to quote from the Wikipedia article) is the "stylistic and technical considerations based on how the works may have been played in the period in which they were written."

    Musical notation has changed/evolved and most of the pre-Classical Period works have been re-orchestrated (often several times) over the centuries and today's symphony orchestra is huge in size today compared to the Baroque Era. And that's not to mention the evil twelve-tone equal temperament system that's common today. The list of subtle (and not so subtle) differences goes on... and on... :p

    HIP recordings of various works are widely available, including all of Mozart's symphonies recorded by the Academy of Ancient Music for Decca.
     
  18. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #18
    That's absolutely true; I have read articles and interviews with musicians who have explored the "performance practice" factor, and it is fascinating to hear what they have to say. Re orchestra size, that's absolutely true, too.

    Actually, I have heard horror stories of how some airlines (citing security concerns) sought to have musical instruments (including a Stradivarius) placed in the hold; the orchestra in question, quite rightly refused to comply (cue images of El Mariachi, or others, whose musical instruments were perhaps a bit more than they seemed).
    Cheers
     
  19. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #19
    It's fascinating stuff... :)

    Edinburgh University has it's Demonstrations of Historic Musical Instruments which provides photos and audio example of the instruments. Click on the "Further information and pictures" to reach the sound files...

    There's a good many HIP ensembles around these days... The PIPE List identifies performance ensembles who employ "original" instruments (or more likely modern copies of historic instruments) in classical music performances.
     
  20. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #20
    Now, thanks for this; I missed your postscript when responding earlier. This sounds absolutely fascinating and something well worth tracking down.
    Cheers
     
  21. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #21
    And if you want to recreate the sound of historic keyboard instruments on your Mac there's several sample libraries (for software based samplers) available, including the "Edition Beurmann" series by RealSamples.

    MP3 demos of the Beurmann series instruments are available here (click an icon at the top of page to go to each instrument specific page).

    Other libraries (strings, woodwinds, etc.) of historic instruments are available from different sources. One could easily spend a small fortune acquiring a collection of historic instrument samples. :)
     
  22. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #22
    Thanks for that.

    And once again, thanks also for this. A few fascinating evenings lie in store for me; but this is truly wonderful, and what a terrific resource.
    Cheers
     
  23. runplaysleeprun macrumors 6502a

    runplaysleeprun

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    #23
    This has to be one of the most cordial and informative threads I have ever read on macrumors. I suppose it helps when the posters are as well informed and passionate about the subject as you guys seem to be. Thanks for all the info.
     
  24. Melrose thread starter Suspended

    Melrose

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    #24
    I read somewhere (of course, now that I think of it I can't remember where) - where back at the time, each composer would even have a certain way he tuned the instruments.

    It's funny too how music and our sense of hearing has changed since then - Phrases, modes, etc are still the same but the way we 'want' to hear it or the the way it 'sounds good' to us has changed over time, kind of like people still like Shakespeare, but his wording and style are so different from stuff written now, you know?

    I've thought before how Beethoven and the rest would react if they heard their pieces performed nowadays..
     
  25. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #25
    It's simply the "Mozart effect"; a positive and uplifting experience, said to be good for babies, dogs, and humans. And a MR thread. (Thank you for your kind post and words; I'm jesting, but only very slightly, while making a serious point as well). Actually, I have read about the effect of classical composers generally, and Mozart in particular, on babies, and I read a recent extraordinary article which discussed the effect of classical music on dogs; apparently it soothes them, while leaving them alert in a "positive" sense. Other forms of music (hip/hop, heavy metal and rap especially seem to have the opposite effect).

    Two people who are close to me, a close friend and a relative, both have a child who is autistic; they have both experimented with classical music - again Mozart in particular, - whose sublime music seems to have a positive and soothing effect on the children.

    I too have wondered about that; not just in the changes in instrumentation, orchestration, (even interpretation, which is often decreed by fashion); I imagine most of them would have been fascinated by the technology of vinyl/CD/MP3 - the idea that what they "heard" in their heads, and could only hear in real life with a rehearsing orchestra - could now be replayed at will, and tinkered and toyed with.

    However, the others could at least hear their music as it was played in public, or could toy or play their own instrumental specialties; but poor Beethoven was profoundly deaf when he wrote his later symphonies. I can only imagine what went on in his head, unable to hear for himself the masterpieces that he had written; in a very real and tragic sense, it was "an imaginary construct".
    Cheers
     

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